This morning in Newtown, CT, moms and dads poured cereal and tied shoes and kissed their kids goodbye as they left for school.  Teachers and principals got their children bundled off for school and turned to the vocation that compelled them to work for a better world.

Nearly 20 of those children and educators won’t come home to tell stories about what was for lunch and what they learned in science.  Places at the dinner table will never be filled again.

They won’t come home.

Don’t talk to me about the right to bear arms.  It is obscene that reality in 1791 when the world was drastically different would eventuate in children and educators being slaughtered in their schools.

Do we need guns for self defense?  Ask the man who shot to death two teenagers in Little Falls this past month.  Ask the man who shot his own granddaughter, thinking she was an intruder this past week.

Ask the parents of the too-many children and youth slain by guns.  Ask movie theatre patrons sprayed with bullets.  Ask college students in a locked-down campus.

Ask your heart:  for what purpose do we need the ability to project metal into the hearts and bodies of others?

Ask why are we not rending our clothes with grief and terror because when people mow down children they are mowing down the future and at a deep spiritual level it is clarion call: We are broken.

We are in need of communal repentence and accountability because these are our children.  They are our children.  Our future.  Our hearts.

And some of them will not come home tonight.




we’re ok

I spent part of last night in the company of our future.

I was at Minnesotans United for All Families for a phone bank training.  There were some fifty of us in a big room.  There were many places we could have been.  We were there.

We were there on National Coming Out Day in order to make phone calls to voters.  With a scant few days before the election and air waves being inundated with increasingly fear-provoking ads, the need for heart touching is great.

What I saw as I took part in it all was that I was easily one of the oldest people there.  I sat with my two daughters.  Around me were couples, singles, and a wonderful assortment of the kind of young people I would LOVE to have in the pews of the church I serve.  They were there because they do not want the constitution of their state to be contorted by discrimination.

I am hopeful.  With all the anxieties of this election season, what I saw last night gives me a great sense that there is a generation coming up behind us that knows the power of civic engagement and knows how vital it is to be attentive and engaged.

It’s about love.  It’s about love for country and love for the gift that is living democracy and it is about the living of love in families and last night that love walked into the room in the hearts of those who care enough to take action.

Join them.  Join those who were surprised a minister would be present.  Join those who speak up and have conversations via phone or in person.  Find a phone bank or invite a friend out for coffee or write letters to the editor and pray pray pray that love might live in a Minnesota that values justice for all people.

Maybe, just maybe, if the church of Christ Jesus speaks for love, those present last night might see their way into faith community.

We need them.  They have much to teach us.


Today Minnesota United Methodists voted to speak publicly against the marriage amendment coming before voters in November.

This is no small thing.

We join the ranks of Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ in Minnesota; all have voted to speak out against this attempt to legislate oppression.

What makes this decision poignant is that unlike the above named denominations, our denomination corporately holds a stance on homosexuality much like that of the Catholic Church.  Many of us work hard on seeking change in that regard.

For the MN Annual Conference to overwhelmingly support public opposition to legislative oppression means that we claimed our call to advocate for justice.

I am a hope filled woman.  I am moved by the witness and advocacy that has taken place for decades in order for this church I love to step out and speak out.  I am aware of the work yet to be done and the wounds yet real.

But today.  On June 1st in St Cloud Minnesota, United Methodists spoke their hearts.

And I do believe we are a changed people.

Thanks be to God.